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Gillespie, W.H. (1937). The Children's Play Centre: By D. E. M. Gardiner. (Methuen, London, 1937. Pp. xiii + 143. Price 3 s. 6 d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 18:486-486.

(1937). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 18:486-486

The Children's Play Centre: By D. E. M. Gardiner. (Methuen, London, 1937. Pp. xiii + 143. Price 3 s. 6 d.)

Review by:
W. Hewitt Gillespie

This little book contains an account of a very interesting experiment in a training college for elementary school teachers. A play centre was opened in 1931, and the children from a poor neighbouring district were invited to join it.

The book records the development of the experiment, the difficulties encountered, and how they were surmounted. A number of different group play activities are described in some detail.

The value of the play centre to the individual children is made very clear, and it will occasion no surprise to those familiar with child guidance work. But, as Dr. Susan Isaacs says in her foreword: 'The major contribution of Miss Gardiner's experiment, however, is to the technique of training students. The play centre solves many of the chief difficulties in the teaching of psychology and educational method to young students.'

Although the students cannot in this way gain insight into the deeper problems of the mind, Miss Gardiner has hit on a very happy way of letting them find out by their own observation that their future charges are not just educational problems, but are real human beings with an active life of emotion and phantasy.

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